What Are You Doing With Your Gift?
by Jonathan Goodding
If you were given the gift of a brand new car, what would you do with it? Would you leave it sitting around looking pretty and taking up space? No, of course not! You’d drive it around— it was a gift that was meant to be used. God has given each of us believers a gift that’s so much greater than a brand new car.
In 1 Cor 12:7, the apostle Paul wrote: “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” No matter who you are, every single believer in Christ has been given a gift from God. Regardless of your status or occupation or talent, God has given you a gift.
In the previous verses, Paul wrote “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.” (1 Cor 12:4-6).
Believer, you are uniquely gifted by God. God has given a variety of gifts to believers for a variety of ministries, and He has given one to you.
Paul calls this gift the manifestation of the Spirit. The Spirit who lives in you is present as you use your gift to serve the body of Christ. To be manifest means to be present. So, when we serve in the church, the Spirit is literally there, enabling us to serve, making our service effective.
Paul wrote that the manifestation of the Spirit in each and every believer is given “for the common good.” This is the goal— the common good of the church, the body of Christ.
In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul put it another way. He wrote that God gave gifts “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12-13).
When we use our gifts, we are building up the body of Christ. Every member of the church should be united in this goal. As we minister together, we grow in our knowledge of Christ together. And we grow together in maturity and Christ-likeness.
So, consider this: are you using your gift for the common good of the body? If not, why not?
Maybe you are really busy, maybe your job requires a lot of your time, or maybe you have young children that need your attention. Do you think the Spirit can enable you to serve despite these things?
Maybe you simply don’t know what your gift is. The only way to identify your gift is to start serving. God knows how He’s gifted you even if you aren’t sure yet.
God has given each of us believers a gift, a manifestation of the Spirit, and He intends us to use it. What are you doing with your manifestation of the Spirit?